Excitement for the New Encyclical

Dear parishioners,

I believe that you have heard some rumors that Pope Francis will publish a new encyclical next month. The encyclical is a papal letter sent to all bishops of the Church and usually deals with some aspect of Catholic teaching or current issues. The Pope’s latest encyclical will be entitled Fratelli Tutti (All Brothers). The Pope will sign his third encyclical at the tomb of St. Francis in Assisi, on 3rd October, and on the eve of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Judging from the title and the place of the signature, we can predict that this encyclical will contain some essential points of the spirituality of Saint Francis of Assisi. This was also confirmed by Matteo Bruni, the Vatican spokesman, that this encyclical would be on fraternity and social friendship. This encyclical will be published to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the publication of previous encyclical Laudato Si’, which was released in 2015.

As the parishioners of St Fiacre’s Parish, Leichhardt, we welcome this good news with joy. At least, there are three reasons why we deserve to be joyful. First, the spirituality of Saint Francis of Assisi – the spirit of poverty, brotherhood with all creation, and the option for the poor – will be widely recognised by the world community. Second, this encyclical arrives at the right time when the spirit of brotherhood among human beings in the world is currently experiencing challenges due to individualism, consumerism, and secularism. Third, our Parish is also served by the Capuchin Friars, who are also the followers of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Therefore, I would like to invite you all to anticipate and explore this valuable encyclical. Hopefully, the encyclical can be translated into English as soon as possible so that we can have access to read and meditate on it.


Coinciding with the signing of the new encyclical from Pope Francis, our Parish will also celebrate Transitus this year on Saturday, 3rd October. This celebration will be a momentous event for all members of the Franciscan Order as we will commemorate the death of St. Francis of Assisi, our Seraphic Father. Therefore, I invite my Capuchin Friars, members of the Secular Franciscan Order, and all of you to attend this meaningful celebration. I will announce the timing in the bulletin next week.


One of the real expressions of the spirituality of Saint Francis of Assisi is a willingness to serve the poor and the marginalised. In this regard, the Capuchin Friars in Leichhardt – together with volunteers from young adults (18 – 35 years old) – dedicate themselves to serving homeless people in Sydney. They provide hot drinks to the homeless every Friday evening, from 7.30 PM to 9.00 PM, at the corner of Cathedral Street & Riley Street, Woolloomooloo. If you are interested in supporting this ministry, please contact me at friarsvan@gmail.com.


Are you interested in becoming a priest or a religious brother? Then, I want to invite you to join us, the Capuchin Friars. I know, maybe you think that you are not ready yet. However, the reality of life shows that we will never be 100% ready in all aspects of life. Readiness will only emerge if there is the courage to say YES, here and now. So, if you are interested, you can contact one of our Capuchin Friars serving in this Parish, or you can contact the Vocation Director, Fr John Nguyen, OFMCap. You can reach him at: vocations@capuchinfriars.org.au. – Fr Pio.